Banking on Apple


I’ll preface this post by noting that I’m the last person to ask for stock tips. I don’t have the mind for it and I don’t keep track of that stuff in a manner that’s useful to anyone but myself. You want stock tips? I’ll point you to my college roommate – genius at that stuff.

So over the Thanksgiving Holiday weekend, we spent time with the extended family. Had a blast and ate lots of food. LOTS of food. I got into a discussion and was asked some questions about technology stuff, but not before some statements were made that I found a bit absurd. The following is a bit of our discussion and my thoughts on the subject. Please feel free to inject your own 2 cents on the discussion I had.

It began by the other individual asking when I thought businesses would adopt Windows Vista. My answer was more along the lines of 18 months to 2 years before it gets a very solid adoption by major enterprises. (This is just my feeling.) I explained my answer by offering that XP took quite some time to take with big business, and even more time to actually get to SP2 where it was truly stable. Vista – from what I’ve seen – looks really, really nice. But it’s ultimately form without function. It looks pretty just to look pretty, and the improvements on the OS itself don’t resemble the things we were supposed to expect, 5 years ago.

He came back with something along the lines of, “Well Apple’s on it’s way out at this point though. Right?” Boy oh boy. I enlightened him (or lit him up, however you’d like to read into it) that Apple hardware is the only platform that natively runs OS X and Windows. In fact benchmarks have the Mac Pro as the one of the fastest Windows machines on the market! The tide is just waiting to turn where large companies are consolidating and getting their employees one box to rule them all, rather than spending on 2 boxes for each desk. I threw-in some thoughts on the Zune, and the displeasure that much of the blogging world has shared over this new Microsoft product. My point being, while Apple’s share prices are higher than they’ve ever been – which means a downward turn is inevitable at some point – they’re making all the right moves at the moment. I don’t think they’re on their way out just yet….


Nick Santilli

Again, good points guys. And I’d have to agree with Jason’s thinking there.

I should note, that as I wrote those thoughts about corporate migration, I had in my head the image of the large ‘creative’ departments at companies I’ve worked for. I think this adoption would very likely begin in those marketing and design departments first, and spread outward from there.
And as Jason A mentioned above, he’s a mac user at home these days – it seems like more and more fall into that category as time passes. There’s still a large chunk that are relegated to Windows, but the cross section of users who are comfortable on multiple platforms (OS X and Windows in this case) is definitely growing.


Jason, you make the best point made on this page “There is also the issue of being the lowest bidder. That’s why you see a lot of Dells and HPs. Repairs come into play too.

More to your point..businesses are cheap. Most would never consider an OS switch because they are not interested in spending much more than $500 to get an employee up and running. I’ve seen it hundreds of times. And I agree.

Most jr. account managers, sales people, office managers or media buyers/sellers (any average desk jockey, really) needs little more than a cheapo HP or Dell. For the most part they only need MS Office and a web browser to sling a few spreadsheets, power point presentations and email. Why do they need to drop a grand on a super-duper iMac for that?


Thanks, Richard. How does that corporate licensing pan out when upgrading?

My original point remains the same though, why would it make sense for a company to use MS OS on a Mac platform? It’s still redundant.

There is also the issue of being the lowest bidder. That’s why you see a lot of Dells and HPs. Repairs come into play too.

Incorporating Jason A’s and Oliver’s thoughts, in my opinion, it would be a slow switch at best. To get optimal use of the Mac, all software would need to be replaced with Mac software. There would be extensive training for all departments and Apple would have to grow in order to support large scale business use. All of which I am for as a shareholder. It is just going to take some time.

Nick Santilli

Richard –
It’s true. at this point in time it’s not completely practical, but I’ve got to believe the ability to improve this situation is but around the corner.
I’m preparing a post about Parallels in the workplace. I’ve been giving it a run for its money at my own day job…interesting results ensue…look for it soon.

Jason A –
Thanks for the insights, especially from your point of view! It’s easy for me to speculate or give a semi-educated guess. But definitely interesting to hear from someone who’s in that situation.

Oliver –
I’m glad to hear that from a windows-user’s perspective, my feelings on Vista aren’t far off. (I was trying to be fair with it – no need to start flame wars here.) I really am impressed with the look of Vista, but there’s just no substance that I’ve been able to find at this point.

Thanks for all the great comments!


i would say that as i PC user, one that keeps his eye on platforms, it is the PC that is, for want of a better description, on the way. Vista has been too long coming. As Nick said it does look pretty, but that’s pretty much it. Having been using various builds of it for a while now, which of course have their beta issues, it really offers nothing new to the table, certainly when you take into account the time it’s taken to maybe have a replacement for the ageing XP. If Apple can make even the slightest of progress in regards to taking on board business users, then Microsoft will really have something to be scared about, because at the moment that’s the only thing they have going for them. Microsoft as i’m concerned have done very little in the last 5-6 years to keep their customers. After the slow growth, if growth is even applicable, of the OS itself, and the eternal teething problems that SP2 caused, and now the inevitable logistical nightmare that Vista WILL be, Microsoft are in a very shaky position.
Myself, i had been holding fast on Windows as my OS of choice and was eagerly awaiting Vista’s arrival. After realsing that all that was new was some glossy toolbars i mentally jumped ship, and will be making the switch to Apple after Leopard drops next year. I would of made the switch already if it wasn’t for having bought a new notebook early this year.

Jason Alexander

As a Windows user that recently converted his household to all Macs in the past year, I have to say that I really see Macs taking on the consumer market with force. But, for work, I still can’t use my Macs. Sure, I can dual boot, or use Parallels, but it’s just not convenient enough yet. Now, that being said, I’m lucky where I can have a Mac because I want one. But, also being that I’m the CTO of a 65 person company, I can also say that it’s not worth it *yet* to look at moving the whole company to Macs, IMHO. But, real, real close. Within a few years it may be possible though. I’ve been nothing but impressed, and a year ago I was a Mac hater. ;)

Richard Neal

Jason, most businesses have corporate licensed copies of Windows, which they can use on unlimited numbers of computers, so that isn’t really an issue.


I have to agree with Richard, but from a slightly different take. Right now, the business world runs on Microsoft. If they switch to Macs to run MS software they’re spending twice (once for the Mac hardware/software and once for the Microsoft licensing) It doesn’t make good business sense. A company wasting that kind of money will surely piss off some shareholders.


Maybe it is because David Yoffie, Professor in Harvard and Intel director back in the mid-nineties, made this well-known statement: “Apple has lost the OS war, and there’s no point fighting it again and again. Apple has become irrelevant.”
It is somehow unforgotten..


What I don’t get it that *always* someone proclaims Apple ‘dead’. It’s a meme that just will not die, however successful Apple is (as it is currently). It’s almost like a virus, jumping from human host to human host. It’s virtually indistructable and it frightens me a bit.

Why is everyone always so quick to defend Windows?

Richard Neal

The argument about having two machines in one works fine for home users, but which businesses have people working on both OS X and Windows? There may be a niche market for businesses developing cross-platform software, and even then, it’s unlikely someone would be using both. Macs may be on their way to being welcomed in businesses, but primarily as Windows machines, not for dual-booting.

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